For Barbra Novac, life is a created adventure. An existentialist at heart, she believes life is your project and it starts as a blank slate. You may look like your parents, but you do NOT have to be your parents, and you are not destined to follow the path laid out by your genes.
This, however, does not mean circumstances don't play a part in your invention of yourself. Barbra would have loved to be an archaeologist, but somehow found her way to accounting(!), a job she was good at, that paid her well, but didn't feed a deeper part of her that yearned for the small trowel and the large acres of dust buried treasures.
Part of the pleasure of believing you can invent yourself to be anything you want meant she could write about the thrill of archaeology and visit existing archaeological sites. Out of documenting information for others grew a passion for writing, a pleasure not re-visited since her school days. After writing some successful articles, she turned her hand to the fiction she loved most erotica and found a fresh new passion, and a possible new identity. The writer.
Erotica lends itself easily to romance, and Barbra dug deep and uncovered a wealth of mystery within herself, using her accounting clients as fodder for character creation and her love of slowly uncovering the truth to find what lies beneath the behaviours of people and what might be revealed in those behaviours. These thrills translate easily to the complicated and exciting work of examining couples and why they get together, what makes them love each other and how they are fulfilled when they express that love physically.
We each are all the people we read about. There is a piece of us in every heroine and a man to fall in love with in every hero. Each book is a little journey the writer and the reader take together, a little world created for a brief moment in time that couldn't exist if the writer and the reader weren't partners for that moment. This mystery beats anything that lies beneath the sands of time, and feeds Barbra's writing.
A: I live in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, and if you've ever seen any pictures of the Blue Mountains you would understand that -- yes! -- I love where I live.
Q: If you could change your life, how would you change it?
A: I would really like to write full time, but with two children and a love of books / travel / music / film I really have to make some money. That's probably the only thing I would change. Accounting feeds my passions, so it is a necessary 'day job' for me. Plus, it's a great skill to have. A psychoanalyst once told me people lie the most in therapy about sex and money, so there is a fair bit of mystery in writing erotic romance and accounting.
Q: Do you think 'rules' are more important than 'fun'?
A: Mmmm... I would probably argue that you can't have a lot of fun without breaking some rules, but you can't break the rules unless you really understand and normally follow them. So I would say they go hand in hand.
Q: Why choose eBooks rather than print?
A: It's not that I choose eBooks over print, rather, I love indi publishing houses. I think the internet and the ebook phenomenon is hugely important and will change publishing (in the same way digital has affected music). Having said that, I don't think print will ever go out of style. I really like being with a publishing house that is working in eBooks. I think it is exciting and important for the future of the novel.
Q: Do you write anything other than erotic romance?
A: Yes. I wrote industry publications for some archaeology research and I write main stream fiction under a different name. But this is where my heart and soul lie, because I love the genre, and because I love working for an independent publisher. I think they're very important.
Q: What is your normal day like?
A: I get up early; five am. I get the kids up at five thirty. I have breakfast and lunches done, and walk them to the train at six thirty in the morning. They go to school in Sydney, so they have to travel quite a way to get there. Once I have them on the train, I go home and get myself ready for work. Hubby is up and about by this stage, because he is getting ready for work too. We are both out of the house and on our way by seven thirty. All of us are back at home by four thirty in the afternoon, and that's when the action really starts. I get dinner while hubby works with the kids on homework, getting them to pack their bags and clean up for the end of the day. We eat early and together around six thirty and then by seven thirty, with chores done, we all retire to our pleasures. My husband is a writer so he and I get to our respective offices to work, and the kids play happily on their computers, or whatever they're into at the time. By eight thirty my husband gets them ready for bed, while I keep working. (I do the morning shift, he does the night shift). I pop in for goodnights, and then by nine at night we're both working really hard at our writing. We don't go to bed till around midnight. We tend to sleep in on weekends.
Q: Do you write every day?
A: Absolutely, even if it's just a blog post. Writers write; I'm not a writer if I'm not writing.
Q: Have you made sacrifices for your writing?
A: Definitely yes. I LOVE a clean house, and my husband talked me into writing instead of cleaning. He was the one who said "Do you want a clean house or published novels?" making me realise I can't have both all the time. I clean rarely, and I don't like the mess, but I've gotten used to it. I only clean now if the writing is moving along well and I can afford a night spent working on the dust. My husband does a lot to help out, but he writes too. So we all work on the basics and I lose the need for that Zen / OCD kind of cleanliness.
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